Norman E. Isaacs, a prominent newspaper editor and expert on press matters, died on Saturday in a residence for people with Alzheimer's disease in Santa Barbara, Calif. He was 89 and formerly lived in Katonah, N.Y.

The cause was heart failure, his son said.Born in Manchester, England, Isaacs moved with his family to Canada and then to Indianapolis. He quit high school and went to work for the Indanapolis Star, rising to become an editor on two other Indianapolis newspapers and the executive editor of two Kentucky newspapers, The Courier-Journal and The Louisville Times, from 1962 to 1971.